In the world of B2B marketing, where it is increasingly important to respond to each lead individually, marketing automation software can support the nurturing of each lead. It can drive the process and ensure prospects are targeted with the right messages at the right time. But what are the challenges?
How has marketing automation evolved over recent years? How does it fit within the bigger domain of the marketing sphere? What challenges do marketers face when using marketing automation?
The Latest Thinking
A Harvard Business review recently identified that the biggest change in the customer journey is how we view the process. Where once we would have talked about prospects drip feeding through a funnel, the reality now is that prospects don’t just enter into the top of the funnel, they can arrive from all angles and at different points in time.
Marketing automation helps to manage this process and becomes even more effective when using an advanced lead scoring process. So, for example, if a prospect downloads a white paper from your website they could be given a score of 10, but if they register for a seminar they could be given 5 points. When they reach a score of perhaps 20, they could then be contacted and offered assistance by a sales manager.
Moving forward, personalised communications will become increasingly smarter. You may already be using focused and personalised email campaigns, but are you personalising your web pages according to each user? Do you create specific landing pages with content that is finely tuned to a specific sector and proposition? As prospects interact at different times and places with businesses, more information will be gleaned from their visits. This will serve to further tailor the unique communication that the prospect will see at the next point of interaction.
Marketing Automation is Not The Complete Answer
As marketing automation advances at such a pace, marketers could easily become too intrinsically focused on the software and process. Whilst it may be very useful, marketing automation is not a quick fix or a replacement for other marketing elements. I would suggest that the key to the successful adoption of marketing automation is having a solid content marketing strategy. Creating highly engaging and thought-provoking content is critical to getting prospects bought in and interested in you rather than the competition. Businesses will need to better understand customer segments, be creative with campaigns and provide strong sales and marketing collateral across a range of different mediums that will engage and provide value to the target audience.
Prospects are hungry for compelling content.
With the continual advances in technology, buying patterns have changed. Gone are the days when businesses used to churn out a high number of sales emails and hope that something would stick. Now prospects increasingly seek out information and content with a voracious appetite from every avenue and arrive at our door, probably already with a decision made about exactly what they want.
In conclusion, those businesses that want to be seen as ‘thought leaders’ with the edge over their competitors, will need to be strong content creators and have a content marketing strategy in place. Marketing automation is simply a vehicle to allow us to better facilitate the way in which we present this information to prospects at the right time and in the right way.
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, get in touch. Call us now on 0845 331 6069. We can help you with your content creation requirements and developing your content marketing strategy.